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Study: infants at higher risk of getting measles that previously thought

Last Updated Nov 21, 2019 at 9:41 am PDT

(SOURCE: iStock Photo)
Summary

Babies were thought to be protected from measles by their mothers' antibodies, but a new study finds they are at risk

Senior author Shelly Bolotin says all of the infants in the study were at risk of measles by six months

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A new study suggests infants are more at risk of getting measles than previously thought.

The findings debunk notions that babies are protected for much of their first year by maternal antibodies passed on through pregnancy.

In fact, Toronto researchers from the Hospital for Sick Children and Public Health Ontario say the protection from their mother’s antibodies was gone for most babies by three months of age.

Senior author Shelly Bolotin says all of the infants in the study were at risk of measles by six months.

“This is really troubling because measles is a serious disease,” she says. “It can be quite serious in infants – higher rate of hospitalization and complication, things like pneumonia, encephalitis, which is brain infection. It really underscores the the need to have everyone around the infant protected against measles.”

Babies typically don’t receive the measles vaccine until they are 12 months old.